Sweat vs Swoll: The Measure of a Good Workout

I know I will be ridiculed for using the word “swoll” in my title but I did so to try and answer a commonly asked question. What is the true measure of a good workout? There are some that believe the only way to achieve a good workout is to produce enough sweat to fill up an above ground pool while others believe it is based on how big you feel (or swoll) after a good lift session. So which one of these is true? The problem with this question is that there is no wrong or right answer. Hard as it is to swallow, both results can be a result of a good work out, but is there a way to have a perfect combination between strength days and sweat days (or conditioning). While I don’t believe there is a specific formula I will do my best to explain the best combination and why you will feel better for incorporating both of these into your workout routine.

My first recommendation I have for you is to plan your strength workouts before work, school, or other20130717-085816.jpg daily activities. Nothing kills a strength day faster than feeling drained from your normal day to day activities. Also plan these workouts with a rest day or conditioning day in between. This will reassure that you’re as fresh as possible for each one of your strength days. Depending on what kind of person you are, conditioning classes can either be your favorite or least favorite form of exercise but they are important none the less. This would be the sweat part of the exercise spectrum. Some view conditioning days as a burden while others view it as a release from all of the activities that go on throughout your day. So depending on what kind of person you are, plan your conditioning workouts around your schedule, just get ready to push yourself. The end of any great conditioning session I have ever done has started with me trying to push myself the hardest I can through the entirety of the workout.

This leads me into my next point. Everyone’s body has limitations and it is knowing those limitations that allows people to perform at their top level. If you are feeling sore, pain, stiffness you need to know when to go easy and have a day of rolling and recovery. (Check out Scott Abramouski’s blog Slow Your Roll) The purpose of any good workout is not to lead you to injury and spilling your last meal.

keep-calm-and-get-swole-2Whether you sweat a lake or feel three times bigger than when you entered the gym, you need to know that there is a place for both conditioning and strength days in everyone’s workout plans. Knowing your limitations assures that you will be able to keep coming back to the gym without any major injuries and adhering to those limitations is what makes a person truly fit.

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